Posts Categorized: Historical Fiction

Review: The Imperial Wife

July 17, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 6

Review: The Imperial WifeTitle: The Imperial Wife
Author: Irina Reyn
Source: FirstToRead
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was a light, fast read with great parallel storylines, but an unsatisfying ending.

“Tanya Kagan, a rising specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia’s wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband.” (source) As we learn more the provenance of the order and its ownership by Catherine the Great, there are clear parallels between the challenges she and Tanya each face. Read more »

Divider

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Mirror Thief

May 10, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Thriller 9

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Mirror ThiefTitle: The Mirror Thief
Author: Martin Seay
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a big, bold, beautiful story with inspiring writing and an enthralling plot.

“The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. The Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage…for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however—a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose—has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten . . . Meanwhile, in two other Venices—Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today—two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret . . .  All three stories will weave together”, connected both thematically and by direct interaction or inspiration of each character by the others. (source) Read more »

Divider

TLC Review: The Secrets of Flight

May 6, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 9

TLC Review: The Secrets of FlightTitle: The Secrets of Flight
Author: Maggie Leffler
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Enjoyable and heartwarming with great characters, but it also felt fairly average and obvious.

Mary Browning has led a full and exciting life, but as she has gotten older and suffered several losses, she’s become lonely and withdrawn. She has also avoided sharing her life story with anyone, despite a desire to write her memoirs, until a young woman named Elyse joins her writing group. Elyse’s resemblance to Mary’s younger sister prompts her to open up and begins a relationship that will help both of them find the emotional support they’re missing in their lives. Read more »

Divider

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Atomic Weight of Love

May 3, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 16

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Atomic Weight of LoveTitle: The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel
Author: Elizabeth J. Church
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I liked the idea of this book and the writing was beautiful, but the tone was too detached and the glimpses of the protagonists life were too brief.

“In 1941, at seventeen years old, Meridian begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. She is soon drawn to Alden Whetstone, a brilliant, complicated physics professor who opens her eyes to the fundamentals and poetry of his field, the beauty of motion, space and time, the delicate balance of force and energy that allows a bird to fly. Entranced and in love, Meridian defers her own career path and follows Alden west to Los Alamos, where he is engaged in a secret government project (later known to be the atomic bomb).” (Source) Once there, Alden and Meridian’s relationship suffers. They no longer have the intellectual conversations she so loved and she resents that Alden respects her less now that she no longer has the academic career she gave up for him. When, twenty years later, a young Vietnam veteran shakes up Meridian’s life, she must decide if it’s too late to start again. Read more »

Divider

Review: The Chief

April 11, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Uncategorized 14

Review: The ChiefTitle: The Chief (Highland Guard, #1)
Author: Monica McCarty
Source: Library
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was just as good as the first book I read in the series and despite major similarities, felt like a fresh story.

For my Reluctant Romantic project in February, I read four romances and while I enjoyed them all more than I expected, my very favorite was The Recruit. This was book number six in the author’s Highland Guard series and I immediately wondered if I’d like the rest as well. I admit that I also had/have an image of romances as particularly formulaic, so I was especially curious if similarities between books by a given author would be great enough that they’d all feel the same. To find out, I picked up this first book in the series, The Chief. Read more »

Divider

Review: The Summer Before the War

April 6, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 6

Review: The Summer Before the WarTitle: The Summer Before the War
Author: Helen Simonson
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was a cute story, but too predictable to be complex and not quite happy enough to justify the predictability.

In East Sussex, in the summer before the start of WWI, the big news is the progressive choice of a female Latin teacher, Beatrice Nash. The wealthy Agatha Grange, who pushed for Beatrice’s appointment, is determined that Beatrice prove herself a good choice, despite being more attractive and independent than might be considered proper in a Latin teacher. Meanwhile, Agatha’s two nephews have their own problems as they slowly get pulled into preparations for war. Read more »

Divider

Review: Terrible Virtue

March 23, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 12

Review: Terrible VirtueTitle: Terrible Virtue
Author: Ellen Feldman
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was a fascinating story, but given that it was fictionalized, I’d particularly have liked to feel more of an emotional connection.

This is the  “story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today. This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience.” (Source) Read more »

Divider

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: A Tyranny of Petticoats

March 2, 2016 Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism 13

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: A Tyranny of PetticoatsTitle: A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Hit or miss, like all multi-author short story collections, with the misses primarily being too simplistic and the hits mostly being moving stories about important historical events and/or those with great fantasy world-building.

Short story collections, especially by multiple authors, are always hit or miss for me, but the focus of this book on young women in history was too interesting for me to pass up. Surprisingly, an awful lot of them also turned out to have elements of magical realism or were full-on urban fantasy.  I thought the editor did a great job organizing the stories, which progressed chronologically and generally moved from those with fantasy elements to those without fantasy elements and with more solid grounding in specific historical events. In addition to the diverse genres, I enjoyed that every story was set in a different location and at a different time period and that many stories features main characters who were non-white, LGBT, and/or differently abled. Read more »

Divider

Futuristic Friday Review and Giveaway: Moonlight Over Paris

January 26, 2016 Historical Fiction 13

Futuristic Friday Review and Giveaway: Moonlight Over ParisTitle: Moonlight over Paris
Author: Jennifer Robson
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Fantastic historical details and relationship building made this an outstanding read.

After a near fatal illness, Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr is determined to get over the public snubs that followed her abandonment by her fiance and to truly live. She decides to move to Paris to live with her unconventional aunt, where she can be more independent and pursue her passion for art. Once there, her harsh art teacher and her attraction to an entirely unsuitable American newspaperman, Sam, will force her to decide whether she wants the conventional life her family sees for her and whether she’s brave enough to pursue a life she loves. Read more »

Divider

Review: Hotel Moscow

June 25, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Thriller 10

Review: Hotel MoscowTitle: Hotel Moscow
Author: Talia Carner
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This book was more thriller than I expected, but both the thriller and historical fiction elements were very well executed.

When Brooke Fielding volunteers her business knowledge to help Russian female entrepreneurs after the fall of communism, she knows her visit will be complicated by the fact that her parents are Russian Jewish holocaust survivors. What she doesn’t know is how dangerous the trip will turn out to be. Despite her parents’ past, Brooke becomes deeply involved with the women she’s trying to help. Mafia members and corrupt officials employ brutal tactics in their attempt to acquire the newly privatized businesses owned by the women Brooke hopes to help. And only Brooke has the financial knowledge and connections needed to discover who is behind the violent takeovers. Read more »

Divider